The Ego and The Spirit : Voices We Need to Hear

Voices We Need To Hear

This post is a follow-up to Hope’s Wisdom Dialogues Episode Called How the Ego Controls our Minds, written by Gail Florence.

Humans are beings who are most conscious of their decisions, beliefs and feelings. The human mind has a capacity for a person to choose among many possibilities. However, how much is the human aware of his freedom of choice? In this blog, it delves into some insight on what goes on in a person’s mind. It shares about the ego and the spirit that guide humans throughout their lives. Read more to find out the difference of these two special voices within us.

The Ego

First, we look into the ego. In a spiritual context, the ego is a voice that seems so natural to us because we always listen to it. Hope Johnson describes it as the voice controlling our mind, choices and beliefs. We are even unconscious that we are always following the musings and conniving of the ego.

To make an analogy, Hope Johnson shares a story where one of her friends talked about a guy who stole from her. This friend decided to go around and warn everyone about it. There’s a belief in the friend that if the guy gets away with stealing, he’s going to continue doing it. The ego works this way too. It convinces us that our assumptions are real. It is “teaching your mind that you are a separate self and you’re vulnerable to someone stealing from you”, (Johnson, 2019).

The ego convinces us to believe in illusions…

The ego, a voice which has grown into us, convinces us to believe in illusions. Illusions such as we will receive punishment when we make a mistake, we are inadequate so we need to gain and gain, we are … so we feel guilty. Once we allow the ego to determine our actions, we feel anxious, fearful, and little. Because of it being a part of us our entire lives, we choose the illusions offered to us no matter if we feel scared about them. We do this because we believe they are normal. Many people choose the same decisions, ambitions and vulnerabilities, we are hesitant to unbelieve the ego.

Hope Johnson continuous to explain that the ego seems real in the moment. So, we are convinced. She adds, “You’re choosing to use illusions to make you into something you’re not because you’re afraid. You think that you’re guilty for having separated yourself from reality. And in thinking this, you believe that you deserve punishment. So this world is a substitute for that. You are running away from this punishment, which is what you think and believe is a punishment by death, a certain death,” (Johnson, 2019).

Understand too, the ego is protective. It wants to preserve the thoughts it projects. Because it appears that way, Hope Johnson adds, “…you follow the ego’s guidance. Otherwise you’re not going to do it right. You’re just going to lose in the world. It looks like you have to go that way,” (Johnson, 2019). What happens then, we don’t discern the truth anymore because we cling to the protection or defense that the ego projects.

For example, when we eat because of stress, the ego will convince us that it is all right to consume a bunch of fatty and sugary treats. It will tell us, “I will protect you from the emotional pain you are going thru by allowing you to eat all the ice cream”. We do get a momentary joy or relief but, once the ice cream is gone, is the pain gone too? Unless we resolve what pains us, we know, deep in our hearts, the pain is just lurking within us. The reality is, ache is our real feeling, but the ego convinces us that we can escape it thru consuming ‘happy’ food. The question now is, are we enjoying ice cream as it is while we use it as a defense? Is there are true relishing of the sweetness, fruit or cookie tidbits, and creaminess constituting the ice cream? Are we honoring the ice cream as it is or are we using it simply as a tool to make us escape from a trapped feeling?

The influence of our decisions and beliefs…

Why do we need to hear the ego at this moment? It is for us to realize that it may be the voice that has been influencing our decisions and beliefs throughout our lives. So, how do we unlisten from the ego? We listen to the spirit voice. Just like the ego, it is a guidance. What makes it different and way better than the ego is, it is a guidance that comforts. Hope Johnson describes, “…the Spirit’s guidance, it’s like a still small voice, like a still small voice and it feels like a comfort that doesn’t have anything to do with the world though. It’s like this tiny voice telling you, ‘You’re beyond the world, you’re beyond the world’”,(Johnson, 2019).

The spirit voice gives us a relief after listening to all the constricting thoughts created by the ego. It is a calm that feels nothing happened or is happening. People believe this comfort is an, “idea that they’re going to get what they want in the world. That’s not the kind of comfort because it always has an opposite to it. … The comfort the spirit is offering you is that you are beyond the worlds. You are beyond the world and whatever occurs in the world, does not ever touch you,” (Johnson, 2019).

Lean to the spirit’s guidance

Once we lean to the spirit’s guidance, “everything is a benefit,” (Johnson, 2019). We start to see that even undesirable circumstances in our lives are teaching us something. Rather than seeing them as mistakes, we start to see them as opportunities for learning. When we flow through those moments of learning, we laugh at those we believe were mistakes. It is a laughter that allows situations to let them be. We are not controlling them anymore but just allowing them to flow.

When we listen to the spirit’s guidance, we are surrendering our want to control or hold on, our fears, anxieties, and reasons of our sadness and anger. We simply allow for the natural to just flow through.

“And that’s where the fun comes in. That’s where the fun of it all comes in when you recognize that you don’t have freewill like that. You have freedom of choice, freedom of choice, but not free will. And you recognize that. That’s where the fun comes in because this illusion what’s occurring on the surface can play out any way. You’re still always free to be yourself. You’re still always free to make that choice that serves you and everyone else at the same time who’s actually you and is undoing that self – belief and as that self-belief is getting undone, you get to have all of the fun. …things get more and more joyful for you because there’s not this fear of, ‘What’s going to happen to me?’”, (Johnson, 2019).

How does the spirit voice start to grow on us? When we are willing to listen to it, that’s where it starts. Recognize and accept your spirit voice for how long you want until it is your natural. If you have obeyed your ego your entire life, now is the moment for the spirit to sweep it away. Gift yourself the calm and peace that your mind wants to return to. Remember that it is up to us to accept the truth that nothing happened. Hope Johnson encourages us that it only takes a willingness, even a little, to start believing it instead.

The Truth of Choice

Truth Of Choice

This post is a follow-up to Hope’s Wisdom Dialogues Episode Called How the Ego Controls our Minds, written by Gail Florence.

One of the timeless questions asked is the existence (or non-existence) of free will. Some believe in it, the others don’t. Are we beings who simply follow the ebb and tide of life? Do we really make choices as we move along each day? Let’s find out more as this blog talks about the real meaning of choice.

We think we are making a choice when we choose between two things. For example, Am I going to eat chocolate or vanilla ice cream?,Am I attending to this event? Am I marrying this person? Am I going to work today? The list goes on but all these are just choices from the surface. They are simply illusions of choice, worldly thoughts that we give so much meaning and time. Hope Johnson enlightens us that there is a deeper choice – making, an orchestration from a higher place in the mind. It is listening and agreeing to the voices of our minds. There are two important voices we are offered – the ego and the spirit.

Ego provides with meaning to our thoughts

To put it simply, the ego provides us with meanings to our thoughts. It makes us believe that our feelings are effects of different situations. When we believe these illusions are real, we become vulnerable. On the other hand, the spirit provides us with the truth. It allows us to just feel our emotions. It also gives us choices where we feel happy, relieved, and content.

Naturally, we think of so many thoughts. It is the most automatic function of the mind. It is not about it being the brain or a bodily organ, but as its essence. Whatever thoughts pop out or flow, we don’t have a choice in them. What we can do about them is agreeing, disagreeing, accepting, rejecting, believing, or shrugging them off. It is where freedom of choice comes in.

Am Unconscious Choice

Are thoughts wrong? Are they a problem? No, it is agreeing with them over and over again that is the problem. For example, when we go through a rough patch in our relationship, a lot come into our mind – the events that lead to the conflict, regrets, happy moments with the person, depressing thoughts and so on. Continuously lingering in these things and allowing our minds to constrict because we choose to just believe them, creates the problem. Hope Johnson says it becomes “an unconscious choice because people don’t realize they’re making that choice”. In reality, we are choose to think of the relationship constantly and what came along with it.

What is truth then? What is reality? Reality is the state of being natural, simply allowing the flow of life in the stream of day to day. It is recognizing our feelings and returning to them. We don’t police ourselves all the time when we are thinking this and that. It is just an allowing to let things be until we achieve comfort and inner peace. Hope Johnson beautifully adds, “You’re always making that choice and to choose recognizing the truth just takes a little bit of willingness.” (Johnson, 2019)

Recognize that our freedom lies in choosing the thoughts that will help us go through the motion of life. Become aware of what goes thru your mind and if you allow negative ones only, you have the freedom to change them. Even if the norm will persuade you to continue trusting the ego, you can always lean to the comfort of the spirit. The spirit maybe a tiny voice at first but believe it is within you. It is up to you to lift it up in your mind and make it your focus. Allow yourself to be encouraged by Hope Johnson as she explains,

You’re still always free…

“You’re still always free to be yourself. You’re still always free to make that choice that serves you and everyone else at the same time. … And as that self-belief is getting undone, you get to have all of the fun. You have to have more and more on things, get more and more joyful because there’s not this fear of, ‘what’s going to happen to me?’ … It’s just a matter of it, of looking at that thought your guidance, with your good guide. You could say it with your good guide,” (Johnson, 2019).

We conclude by giving you something to reflect on. What do you choose? Will you give in to your thoughts no matter how they constrict you? Will you choose to linger in those that make you feel guilty, fearful, and anxious? Would you rather opt for letting go of what was and what will be? Will you allow yourself to feel and just let it flow?

Diluting the Value of Thoughts

This post is a follow-up to Hope’s Wisdom Dialogues Episode Called Seeing Past Perception, written by Gail Florence.

When a situation occurs, there is always this question whether it is a blessing or curse, a boon or bane or a gift or learning. We can see having these dichotomies imply how much we interpret our surroundings and experiences. We tend to think something can be bad or good for us. Whichever seems to progress, people believe it was because of the power of the mind or thoughts. So, we can hear commentaries like, “I practiced positive visualization so, now, I reached this achievement,” or “I always thought bad things will happen and now, I failed my exam.” It even comes to a point where personalities are labelled and declared as, “I am always a negative person,” or “She is so positive all the time.”

We can also examine in ourselves what kinds of thoughts we tend to put on replay in our minds, and what interpretations we tend to claim as true. The reason we believe a thought is real is it has a feeling attached to it. For example, when we see someone as annoying, we believe she is truly so because we feel annoyance, too. Another is, when a dog passes by, we believe it is frightening because we feel frightened as well. Lastly, when we fail at an interview, we believe we are unskilled because we feel inadequate. Then, a blame-game occurs and the negativity ripples.

It is okay to choose it…

So, is it about choosing a positive outlook in life? It is okay to choose it. However, it is more on diluting the value we put into our thoughts and just feeling what we feel whenever a situation comes up. It is how negative feelings become acknowledged rather than denied or suppressed. We recognize annoyance, hurt, fear, anger, sadness and the like to see what’s causing them. We can ask ourselves, “Why is this anger arising from me?”

However, pointing our fingers to other people or a particular situation as the cause of the anger is just buying into the surface perceptions. We need to be willing to go beneath the surface reasons in order to see what’s causing the emotion.

So, when we get angry in front of someone, we can watch the angry feeling and see how it flows out. The moment of seeing is also the moment for healing. Healing it means we are recognizing we are just projecting the anger by believing in angry-inducing thoughts and no one is truly making us mad. Likewise, when we find other people judging, disrespecting, or getting pissed at us, we can heal it by seeing what it is for. We can stop believing others are victimizing us and make a choice for the truth.

Any upset feeling arising like anger, fear, inadequacy or sadness is a blessing. It is an opportunity for us to see what thoughts we are holding against ourselves and we are just making them up. It is like a miracle taking place because recognizing and undoing them changes the way we look at ourselves and the world.

Love is always present and waiting to be recognized again…

In reality, there is only love within us. It is always present and waiting for us to recognize it again. When we see through the eyes of love, we can laugh at any thought nudging in our minds and admit we are just making them up. We can also acknowledge positive and negative feelings and see what’s causing them. So, when there is an upset feeling, we can go back to the truth of our nature after recognizing what the feeling is for. We can also extend calm, joy and love at any moment to others sharing energy with us.

Freedom of Choice, Love and Food: How the Spiritual Sees Them

Freedom of Choice, Love and Food

This post is a follow-up to Hope’s Wisdom Dialogues Episode Called How the Ego Controls our Minds, written by Gail Florence.

What is the essence of choice, love and food? What does it mean to choose, love and eat? Are we just going thru life believing in ideas that seem true? This blog shares some insight in the freedom of choice, love and food. Read more and find out their spiritual importance.

Freedom of Choice

One of the most debatable issues more than politics (maybe) is the human being’s freedom. When we realize we have so much freedom, every kind of possibility pops in our minds like mushrooms. It feels like we are standing in front of a buffet table that offers every dish of each country. The numerous choices leaves us confused rather than joyful even if we are ‘free’.

Our minds are full of choices offered by two special voices – the ego and the spirit. The ego lays out thoughts that seem to be natural happenings in the real world while the spirit taps for the human being to just accept feelings. The ego will give meaning to every thought we linger in. The spirit will comfort and relieve the mind from such meanings. The ego will make us think that it is better to feel guilt, fearful, anxious, and upset because everybody else are doing so, they are the norm. The spirit, on the other hand, will just allow our minds to feel a sense of peace until we can laugh off negativity.

In Hope Johnson’s Wisdom Dialogues episode, the ego constantly convinces us of illusions that seem to be truth. For example, when we surrender to the pressure and accept a job which we are hesitant and not ready for, we just work our butts off in the company and just believe it is the most stressful activity in the world. Then, we quit, look for another job and accept another ordinary one. However, we do this because we don’t want to feel the anxiety and fear of unemployment. The cycle goes on and on without allowing ourselves to fully relish joy, gratitude, contentment and peace-of-mind. We deny ourselves of what makes us truly happy because we are afraid. By listening to the ego, whose claim is we are doing the right thing because we feel guilty if we don’t, positive feelings don’t stand a chance.

The ego convinces us that our negative thoughts are natural. However, our mind has the room for the spirit voice. When we start accepting its message, we allow situations to flow naturally. We release our control of things and simply flow through life. We take our minds to thoughts that are happy, comforting, relieving and innocent. We choose what doesn’t constricts us or scare us.

Freedom of choice comes in when deciding which guide to listen to. Hope Johnson says, “You have two guides in your mind, which thought feels better? There’s options, there’s always options. You get to decide which thought feels better. You’re not going to get it wrong. …You don’t have to go with the more fearful one. You don’t have to go with the one that feels more constrictive,” (Johnson, 2019).

It is up to us where we believe in or which we allow to flow.

Love and Forgiveness

When we allow ourselves to obey the recurring devices of ego, it affects our view and experience of love. Hope Johnson puts it as, “…love is also eternal life. Eternal life is the same thing as love.” When we separate ourselves from reality by believing the conniving and illusions of ego, we go further from love. We need to recognize that there is no separation from love and it is better for our well-being to release ourselves from believing in worldly thoughts. Hope Johnson adds, “We have to be willing to make a choice. Once we’re willing to make a choice, then we’re shortening time and we’re shortening the time it takes for this illusion to be undone and for us to finally not need the dream because we don’t want it anymore. We realize we don’t need something to substitute for reality,” (Johnson, 2019)

So, the ego projects to us illusions of fear, anxiety, being taken advantage of, guilt and so on to our own permission. Starting to recognize which you believe in – truth or illusion, you become alert on what you allow in your mind. Noticing this is an important step to welcome the voice of the spirit. It is also important to allow forgiveness. It is the kind of forgiveness where nothing happened. Hope Johnson says, “In that, you keep on getting uplifted. You become up lifted basically. You keep on getting uplifted because it’s revealed to you that you’re not anything that could be held guilty or accountable or anything like that for anything that occurs in the world, in your mind, anywhere. You just can’t get it wrong,” (Johnson, 2019).

Food

Sometimes, when we are so caught up by the stressful moments in our lives, we automatically turn to objects or activities that we assume can uplift our spirits. As humans, we consider food as a tool, somehow, to make us happy. Of course, it necessary to nourish our body. However, when we consume, for example, an entire box of chocolate because we are depressed, we are denying ourselves of reality. Though we know it is unnecessary to finish up all the chocolates in one go, we listen to the ego who says, “Finish it up because it will make you forget your pain”. We know relief was only a momentary effect because after finishing all the chocolates, we feel bloated. It is how the ego protects. It just showers us with defensive mechanisms that just makes us escape reality. So, we need to accept that our pain stops when we face it and resolve it.

We are also controlled by the idea that we need to maintain a healthy body. We pressure ourselves to fit to the ideal body type. Hope Johnson shares her personal experience and says, “When I was a little kid, it was always taught to me that in order to be thin, fit and have a good body, you basically have to eat food you don’t like… It occurred to me when I was a kid, “I bet you can eat, always eat, food that you like and still have a fit body”. And just in that, there was an energy shift and that’s why I could still recall that moment because it was such a shift. It was just like opening up to another way. It’s not taking on worldly beliefs and what’s being presented to you as if it’s true,” (Johnson, 2019).

Skinny, obese, or a healthy body are not real. They are just illusions that give room to prejudice. We need to remember that the belief of an ideal body type or size is simply to make us feel guilty when we can’t achieve it. So, let food be just food. Relish it as a gift from nature. Believe too, that, “Your mind already knows what you want, the body that you want. Even from the eagle’s perspective, the buyer, your mind already knows what you want,” (Johnson, 2019).